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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE — Examples
Gerunds

 
 

Different ways gerunds can be used

Example Sentences

Explanation

Skiing is fun.

Gerund as subject of the verb.

I like skiing.

Gerund as object of the verb.

My parents teach me all about skiing.

Gerund as object of the preposition. Usually use a gerund directly after a preposition.

Tom has to finish eating dinner before he can watch TV.

NOT: Tom has to finish to eat dinner before he can watch TV.

There are many verbs that use gerunds as the object. "Finish" must be followed by a gerund. An infinitive cannot follow "finish."
(Most dictionaries will show if the verb is followed by a gerund or an infinitive.)

I want to go swimming.

Use a gerund after "go" to express an activity (usually a sport or recreational type of activity).

Every summer, I spend all my days playing with my friends and going to the beach.

Harold wasted his whole weekend watching TV.

Use a gerund to tell how time is used.

Tami had fun swimming yesterday.

Mary had difficulty answering the exam questions.

Use a gerund after:
have + fun / trouble / difficulty  / a hard time, a good time, a difficult time

Tom sat at the table eating his dinner.
Mary stood at the corner waiting for the bus.
Barbara was lying down resting before dinner.

Use a gerund after: Sit / stand  / lie + expression of place

Bill heard Tom singing. (Bill heard Tom sing.)
Mary saw Bill walking home.
Tom smelled the toast burning.

Use a gerund (or the simple form) after a verb of perception (for example: see, hear, feel, smell, notice, watch, listen to).
NOTE: These verbs are followed by direct objects.

Michelle enjoys not working on Fridays.

Not studying properly is a common problem for new students.

To show a negative, place the word "not" before the gerund.

Present passive: I appreciate being invited to the party.

The gerund can be used in the passive.
Present passive: being + past participle form of verb


Present: I admit stealing the money.

The gerund can be used in the past.
The form is having + past participle form of verb
The past gerund action occurred before the main verb action:

Past: I admit having stolen the money.

First: I stole the money.
Second: Now, I admit the theft.

Past: I already admitted having stolen the money.

First: I stole the money.
Second: Then, I admitted the theft.


A possessive noun or pronoun can be used with a gerund:

Nancy was angry about Bill's losing $1000 at the horse race.

This sentence means: Bill lost $1000 at the horse race. Nancy was angry about that.

I appreciate your inviting me to the party.

This sentence means: You invited me to the party. I am happy about that.